The European Qualifications framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF) has recommended that organisations working at EU level should use the reference levels and principles of the EQF in order to design coordinated training and qualification standards. EQF has indicated that such harmonization should take place through the development of sectorial qualification frameworks (SQFs) such as Coast Guard Functions cooperation. This will increase the employability, mobility and lifelong learning of personnel related to Coast Guard Functions.
The idea to develop a Coast Guard Functions Sectoral Qualifications Framework (CGFSQF) was launched within the European Coast Guard Functions Forum. Development of the CGFSQF is a multi-year process where the end goal of the CGFSQF is to function as a set of common standards for CGF education to assure quality of training and teaching and to be applied on a voluntary basis.
Starting of the practical work towards the development of the CGFSQF was carried out within the framework of the ECGFA NET project in Jan 2015 − Feb 2016 under the leadership of the Italian Coast Guard. During the first phase, the basic elements, key recommendations and methodology for the future development of the CGFSQF were defined. As per the recommendations, the works on the development of the CGFSQF is divided into 7 stages.
The follow-up, ECGFA NET II project in Oct 2017 − Dec 2017 is to advance the development of the Coast Guard Functions Sectorial Qualifications Framework (CGFSQF) by drafting the final structure of the CGFSQF and by completing stages 2 and 3 out of a total of 7 in the CGFSQF development process. The process starts with the identification of a SQF working group and of different stakeholders at national and international levels, and with the defining of a working plan for the development of the CGFSQF. These are followed with activities such as the mapping of different qualifications, identification of the number of levels, drafting of the learning outcomes and as a last step – drafting of the CGFSQF final structure. The work on the development of the Coast Guard Functions Sectoral Qualifications Framework (CGFSQF) is to be finalized and stages 4 to 7 to be implemented during the third phase.
Development of the CGFSQF is very much supported by the ECGF Training Network, it being mentioned in the Network’s Statement of Intent document as one of the Network’s main areas of activities.